Strategic Plan

Department of Pharmacology Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Our mission is:

1. To be leaders in pharmacology research, from basic studies of drug targets and actions through to translation into clinical use.

2. To develop and apply innovative approaches to the education and training of the next generation of pharmacologists.

3. To be an authoritative source of information on pharmacology research, education and drug action for professionals, policy makers, and the broader community.

Our vision is to be international leaders and a key community resource in pharmacology research, education, and training.

Our strategic planning process:

  • Our mission and vision were developed and accepted in May, 2018 and reaffirmed in August, 2019.
  • One on one interviews were held in August, 2019 to discuss strategic priorities:
    • All faculty members support the mission and vision statements.
    • There was recognition that the definition of 'pharmacology' has changed from the classical definition to a much broader concept.
    • There was a strong desire to "do something", to bring back departmental pride, and to improve camaraderie.
    • We discussed ideas and activities to achieve our mission and vision. There was a remarkable congruence of ideas.
  • The activities to achieve our mission and vision were discussed at a full faculty meeting on October 25, 2019.
    • All faculty members supported the plan outlined below.

Our plans for 2019-2023:

1. Propose a new Pharmacogenomics Hub:

  • The University of Alberta and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry have declared that Precision Medicine is a priority and are investing in this signature area.
    • Precision Medicine must include pharmacogenomics
    • There are some individuals at the University of Alberta with pharmacogenomics expertise, but no specific initiative focusing on pharmacogenomics
  • We have willing partners: Alberta Health Services, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Departments of Psychiatry, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Medical Genetics, Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, etc.
  • We shall convene a small group to build a proposal for a pharmacogenomics initiative, which will be led by the Department of Pharmacology
    • This will include new endowed faculty positions, laboratories, and infrastructure, as well as new courses and a graduate training program in pharmacogenomics.
      • This platform will serve to elevate the research of all interested faculty members
  • Volunteers for this committee includes: Dr. W. Colmers, Dr. B. Hubbard, Dr. J. Hammond, Dr. P. Light, Dr. M. Zaugg, Dr. A. Bhavsar (MMI), Dr. K. Aitcheson (Psychiatry).
  • The timing for this will be important: our goal will be to submit a proposal to the FOMD leadership by December, 2019.

2. Reinvigorate Our Educational Offerings:

  • We recognize that teaching pharmacology is why we exist as a Department
  • We have a strong history of excellence in education
  • There is increasing interest in pharmacology, as evidence by increasing enrolment in our undergraduate program
    • With the new budget model, we will benefit from increasing our teaching (both in terms of course offerings and student numbers)
    • We will also benefit from increased interest in our graduate program
  • We will review and update our course offerings at a Teaching Retreat in May, 2020.
  • We will appoint a new Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs

3. Improving Our Department's Visibility:

  • Improving our visibility will elevate our "status" within the Faculty, the University, and our Community.
  • Recent successes with the Gairdner Public Lecture (Dr. Colmers) and the Festival of Health
    • There is a high level of interest in what we do!
  • We will do a series of public lectures, starting in the Spring 2020
    • Partner with Faculty Development office
    • We will form a committee to identify speakers and organize the presentations (volunteers: Dr. E. Posse de Chaves, Dr. R. Schulz, Dr. W. Colmers)
  • We will produce an Annual Report in early 2020.
    • This will also increase our profile.
      • Includes profiles of faculty members, their research
      • Graduate students and staff
      • Undergraduate students
      • Activities of the Department
      • Lots of photos and graphics
  • Improve our Twitter profile. Volunteers needed for this.